SOYUZ ROCKET SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERS EKS-2 EARLY-WARNING SATELLITE TO RARE ORBIT - Shortly after 2:34 a.m. EDT (06:34 GMT), May 25, 2017, a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket lifted off from site No. 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and delivered the second of the EKS series of early-warning satellites to a rare Tundra orbit.
EKS-2, designed to detect the infrared and optical signatures of a ballistic missile launch, soared into space atop a Soyuz-2.1b to join its EKS-1 sibling, which was launched 18 months before and will help strengthen the Russian military’s defensive capabilities.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - May 26)
NOAA’S NEWEST GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE WILL BE POSITIONED AS GOES-EAST THIS FALL - GOES-16, the most advanced weather satellite NOAA has ever developed, will be moved to the GOES-East position at 75 degrees west longitude, once it is declared operational in November. Top officials from NOAA announced the long-awaited decision at today’s 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook news conference in College Park, Maryland.
“As a Florida resident, I am particularly proud of the important work NOAA does in weather forecasting and hurricane prediction,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “GOES-16’s unmatched detail in observations and other data will improve forecasts, provide considerable benefits to the economy, and help improve public safety. More
(Source: whnt.com - May 26)
LILACSAT-1 CUBESAT DEPLOYED FROM ISS - The student built LilacSat-1 carries an amateur radio 145/436 MHz FM to Codec2-BPSK digital voice transponder, APRS Digipeater and camera. The satellite was developed at the Harbin Institute of Technology and is part of the QB50 mission which aims to study the lower thermosphere. It was deployed from the International Space Station at 0845 GMT on Thursday, May 25, 2017. More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - May 25)
ISRAEL’S FIRST ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH SATELLITE TO SOON LAUNCH - Venus, the first Israeli-built satellite meant for environmental research and monitoring, is being sent to French Guiana, from where it will soon be launched.
Workers at Israel Aircraft Industries, together with those from Elbit and Rafael -- who built it -- will bid farewell on Thursday to the satellite before transferring it to the Israel Space Agency in the Science and Technology Ministry. Its partner in the project is the French Space Agency CNES. Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis will be on hand at the ceremony in Yahud.
(Source: The Jerusalem Post - May 25)
THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST SLOVAK SATELLITE SET - The first Slovak satellite skCUBE is expected to be sent into orbit in early June, said representatives of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA), which is in charge of the project.
The launch has been repeatedly postponed due to problems with the American Falcon 9 rocket. This time it is planned to take place at India’s Sriharikota spaceport. More
(Source: The Slovak Spectator - May 24)
FIRST IRISH SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED IN SPACE - Ireland is boldly going where it has never gone before by preparing to launch its very first satellite in space, writes Pádraig Hoare.
Led by University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast, in partnership with five Irish companies, the EIRSAT-1 satellite will be launched from the International Space Station and will orbit for 12 months if it passes the stringent testing of the European Space Agency (ESA).
EIRSAT-1 will gather data on Gamma Ray Bursts and will test innovative Irish space technologies. More
(Source: Irish Examiner - May 24)
SHORT SPACEWALK COMPLETE AFTER SUCCESSFUL INSTALLATION WORK - Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 10:06 p.m. EDT. During the spacewalk, which lasted two hours and 46 minutes, the two astronauts successfully replaced a computer relay box, and installed a pair of antennas on station to enhance wireless communication for future spacewalks. More
(Source: NASA - May 24)
HOW MUCH EACH COMPANY WILL CHARGE TO TAKE YOU TO SPACE - The first issue of Airbnbmag, which hits newsstands today, will help you find a place to stay off-planet, too. Here are the companies competing to take us to the heavens, and how much we'll have to pay (and how long we'll have to wait) for the ride of a lifetime.
Worldview Express: $75,000
Float 100,000 feet to the edge of the atmosphere via a helium-balloon-powered space capsule. There's no training required for the four- to six-hour World View Voyager trip. More
(Source: Popular Mechanics - May 24)
PT TELKOM COLLOCATES SATELLITE WITH INTELSAT WHILE PLANNING TWO HTS SATELLITES - In the midst of a continuing fleet expansion, Indonesia’s state-owned telecommunications company PT Telkom is collocating one of its satellites with an Intelsat satellite over the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking at the APSAT 2017 conference in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta on May 17, PT Telkom’s Chief Strategy Officer David Bangun said the company is in the early stages of developing two high throughput satellites (HTS) for its constellation, which currently consists of three satellites: Telkom-1, Telkom-2 and Telkom-3S.
(Source: SpaceNews - May 23)
NASA TV LIVE BROADCASTS TUESDAY SPACEWALK - Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA will venture outside the International Space Station for a 2.5-hour contingency spacewalk Tuesday, May 23. The spacewalk will begin about 8 a.m. EDT, with complete coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 6:30 a.m.
Whitson and Fischer will replace a critical computer relay box that failed on Saturday, May 20. The relay box, known as a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM), is one of two units that regulate the operation of radiators, solar arrays and cooling loops. They also will route commands to other vital station systems and install a pair of antennas to enhance wireless communication. More
(Source: NASA - May 23)
INDIAN ROCKET THAT US ONCE ‘GROUNDED’ WILL PUT ISRO-NASA SATELLITE IN SPACE - In 1992, the US under President George Bush had slapped sanctions on Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and prevented Russia from sharing cryogenic engine technology with the Indian space agency so as to check India from making missiles.
Two decades later, US space agency Nasa has joined hands with Isro to co-develop the world's most expensive earth imaging satellite that will cost the two countries over $1.5 billion. The irony is GSLV, which is likely to place this Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite into orbit in 2021, is the same rocket for whose cryogenic engine the US put sanctions on India.
(Source: Times of India - May 22)
SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCHER SET FOR FIRST ORBITAL TEST FLIGHT THIS WEEK - The first test flight of Rocket Lab’s commercially-developed Electron launcher was held up by weather Sunday, but conditions could improve for a launch attempt Monday from New Zealand to place an instrumented rocket stage into Earth orbit in a demonstration of the company’s low-cost delivery system for lightweight satellites.
The two-stage rocket’s launch window opens at 2100 GMT (5 p.m. EDT) Sunday, or 9 a.m. Monday in New Zealand, but officials caution the test flight could blast off any time through June 1. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 22)
NASA PLANS EMERGENCY SPACEWALK ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A pair of astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Tuesday for an emergency spacewalk to replace a failed computer, one of two that control major U.S. systems aboard the orbiting outpost, NASA said on Sunday.
The primary device failed on Saturday, leaving the $100 billion orbiting laboratory to depend on a backup system to route commands to its solar power system, radiators, cooling loops and other equipment. More
(Source: Reuters - May 22)
RUSSIA JUST REACTIVATED 3 MYSTERY SATELLITES - AND WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHY THEY EXIST - Three Russian satellites that were sent into low orbit in 2013 are on the move again, and no one knows what they are for, The Daily Beast reports.
Having been idle for more than a year, one of the satellites went hundreds of metres off its orbit last month to within 1,200 metres of a piece of a Chinese weather satellite that China smashed in a 2007 anti-satellite rocket test. The manoeuvre, which is pretty impressive for such a small spacecraft, is also rather close by orbital standards. More
(Source: ScienceAlert.com - May 22)
INDIA TO ENTER HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ERA WITH ISRO'S NEW SATELLITES - Despite overtaking the US last year to become the world's second largest internet user base after China, India is still behind many Asian countries when it comes to internet speed. But things are set to change in the next 18 months when Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to usher in an age of high-speed internet in the country with the launch of three communication satellites.
Speaking to TOI, Isro chairman Kiran Kumar said, "We will launch three communication satellites. More
(Source: Times of India - May 21)
WISH UPON AN ARTIFICIAL STAR: JAPANESE STUDENTS TO SEND LED SATELLITE INTO ORBIT - Students from Japan’s Aichi University are planning to launch “an artificial star” into space, a device they say will be visible from Earth. The ultra-small cube-shaped satellite will be sent into orbit onboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-2A rocket, Asahi.com reports. The satellite, which weighs around 1.65kgs (3.6lbs) and measures 10cm (0.3ft) on each side, will and will be fitted with eight beam-type LEDs and 24 wide-angle LEDs that can be activated using an amateur radio. More
(Source: RT - May 21)
CQ MAGAZINE HONOURS BRITONS INVOLVED IN ASTRO PI PROJECT - Radio amateurs David Honess, M6DNT, and Tim Peake, KG5BVI / GB1SS, have been inducted into the prestigious CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours those individuals, whether licenced hams or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur radio; and those amateurs who have made significant contributions either to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet.
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - May 21)
SPACE DEBRIS AND THE PRICE OF BEING A PIONEER - Scientists will tell you, "Space debris is an urgent issue. We've got novel technology to deal with it. But we can't get the funding." It's a lot like climate change. But do we really want to wait until it's too late? Pioneers carry a heavy burden. Everything is new and you're the first to try them out. If you fail, it's moon dust on your face. And those who follow will follow you with the benefit of being able to learn from your mistakes. More
(Source: Deutsche Welle - May 20)
SOYUZ ROCKET ORBITS SATELLITE FOR AIRBORNE NAVIGATION AND CONNECTIVITY - A commercial SES communications satellite on the way to an operating post over the Americas rode into orbit from French Guiana aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket Thursday, embarking on a mission to help airline travelers stay connected and improve air navigation over the United States.
Powered exclusively by xenon-fed electric thrusters, the SES 15 satellite could last up to 18 years, beaming in-flight wifi to airline passengers, giving pilots and air traffic controllers more accurate GPS navigation data, and supplying capacity to television broadcasters. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 19)